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CN and Unifor have been unable to reach a new tentative agreement after months of negotiations, the union announced late last week. The current agreement expires Dec. 31.Unifor has five collective agreements with CN that cover 4,800 workers, including mechanics, clerical workers, excavator operators and truck drivers. Unifor Local 100 represents skilled trades in mechanical shops and Unifor Council 4000 represents intermodal, clerical, mechanics and owner operators. Unifor opened negotiations with CN on Sept. 19, and although some progress had been made recently, there have been several stumbling blocks on non-economic issues that prevent the talks from moving forward, Unifor officials said in a press release."There is frustration on the part of all of the bargaining committees that CN has refused to address the issues necessary that would help move discussions along," said Unifor President Jerry Dias, who has been participating in the negotiations.The railroad has bargained intensively with Unifor to reach a contract settlement before the current contract expires, CN officials said in an emailed statement. The Class I remains optimistic that an agreement can be reached in the near term, following its successful negotiation of a tentative agreement earlier this month with the United Steelworkers Local 2004 covering about 3,000 CN maintenance-of-way employees in Canada, they said.Unifor and CN plan to schedule meetings in January to continue negotiations.
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